The Latest: Iran reports new daily record for virus deaths

TEHRAN — Iran hit another single-day record for coronavirus deaths as the country grapples with a sharp spike in cases.

The Health Ministry reported Sunday that 434 people had died in 24 hours from the virus, bringing Iran's death toll in the pandemic to more than 35,000.

The ministry said it recorded 7,719 new confirmed infections since Saturday. Iran has reported more than 620,000 confirmed virus cases in all.

Most deaths have occurred in the capital, Tehran, which is also the most populated city in Iran. The head of the virology department at Masih Daneshvari Hospital in Tehran, Alireza Naji, warned that Iran could reach 900 confirmed coronavirus deaths per day if more restrictions on movement and gatherings are not imposed.

Tehran’s City Council has proposed a two-week lockdown of the city. For the past three weeks, Iran has banned weddings and funeral gatherings, and closed universities and schools, as well as libraries, mosques, cinemas, museums and beauty salons to try and curb the spread of the virus in Tehran.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

England to enter a new lockdown as UK virus cases pass 1 million.

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— Minority US contact tracers build trust in diverse cities

— A company with no manufacturing facilities that is based in a luxury condo may be in line for as much as $65 million in taxpayer dollars for antiviral plasma treatments.

— The Netherlands will halt its multibillion euro coronavirus bailout to national carrier KLM amid a standoff with a pilot’s union about the rescue package.

Austria has announced a partial shutdown with restaurants and bars closed for four weeks, cultural, sports and leisure activities canceled and residents asked to stay home after 8 p.m.

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Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

PODGORICA, Montenegro — Huge crowds have attended the funeral of the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro in violation of coronavirus.

Thousands on Sunday gathered outside the main church in the capital Podgorica for the liturgy and the burial of Bishop Amfilohije inside the church crypt.

The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church led the prayers inside the packed church joined by dozens of officials and clergy, many of whom did not wear face masks. Montenegro recently has seen a surge in virus cases.

Bishop Amfilohije died on Friday of COVID-19. He was well-know for fighting against a new religion law in the country.

In an illustration of the bishop’s popularity, thousands have paid their respects since Saturday, passing by an open casket with his body. Many kissed the bishop’s remains, prompting an appeal from doctors to close the coffin.

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ROME — After days of protests over the Italian government’s pandemic restrictions, the country's president has appealed to people to put aside partisan politics and pull together.

President Sergio Mattarella on Sunday visited a cemetery near Brescia, a northern city in Lombardy, the region which has largely borne the brunt of Italy's coronavirus outbreak to pay tribute to those who died from COVID-19.

Mattarella said he chose the cemetery because that’s where someone carried out the “ignoble theft” of a cross placed there in memory of pandemic victims.

The head of state recalled Italy’s more than 38,000 confirmed dead in the pandemic, including “the many who died in solitude.”

He called for Italians, “whatever one’s role or convictions,” to unite with the “common aim of defending people’s health and assuring the economic revival of our country.”

Right-wing opposition leaders have been railing against the center-left government’s infection-prevention measures, contending they unfairly penalize and don’t reflect their input.

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ROME — Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte is expected this week to order more restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Conte addresses lawmakers at noon Monday to lay out the next measures and press for widespread public support after a week of nightly protests by Italians angered by limits on the personal freedom and the economic damage suffered by closed businesses. Conte was conferring on Sunday with governors and representatives from cities and towns in a bid to ensure local support. He has said he is determined to keep schools open if possible.

For two days straight, Italy registered more than 30,000 new confirmed infections. Just a week ago, Conte shuttered gyms, pools, cinemas and theaters and ordered bars and cafes to stop serving customers at 6 p.m., except for takeaway and delivery service.

Particularly hard is Italy’s financial capital of Milan in Lombardy, the northern region where the pandemic first struck hard in Europe. Infections are also surging in the southern Campania region, including densely populated Naples.

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka’s government has extended a three-day quarantine curfew imposed in the country’s Western Province for a further week as the number of COVID-19 cases being reported continues to surge.

The Western Province was closed from Friday, a public holiday, so people wound not travel over a long holiday weekend. At least three big COVID-19 clusters have been reported in the province since October.

Sri Lanka has reported 10,663 cases so far with 20 deaths.

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LONDON — A British government minister says a new national lockdown in England may have to last longer than the planned four weeks if coronavirus infection rates don’t fall quickly enough.

The lockdown is due to run from Thursday until Dec. 2. Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it is needed to stop hospitals becoming overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients within weeks.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove said Sunday that “with a virus this malignant, and with its capacity to move so quickly, it would be foolish to predict with absolute certainty what will happen in four weeks’ time.”

Under the new restrictions, bars and restaurants can only offer take-out, non-essential shops must close and people will only be able to leave home for a short list of reasons including exercise.

Other venues that must close including bowling alleys, gyms, pools, golf courses, driving ranges, dance studios, horse riding centers, soft play facilities, climbing walls, water parks and theme parks.

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JERUSALEM — Israel reopened elementary school classes after a six-week shutdown on Sunday as the country eases restrictions following a nationwide lockdown that began in September.

First to fourth grade students will attend school four days a week, with up to 20 students in each class. Students and teachers are required to wear face masks in class.

Group prayers are also now allowed with up to 10 people indoors and 20 in open spaces. Hairdressers and beauty salons across the country have too been allowed to reopen. Other businesses, including street shops, will remain closed until next Sunday.

Israel imposed a second nationwide lockdown on Sept. 18 as the country saw one of the highest per capita infection rates.

Israel’s Health Ministry has recorded over 314,000 cases of the coronavirus and 2,541 deaths.

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka’s government has extended a three-day quarantine curfew imposed in the country’s Western Province for a further week as the number of COVID-19 cases being reported continues to surge.

The Western Province was closed from Friday, a public holiday, so people wound not travel over a long holiday weekend. At least three big COVID-19 clusters have been reported in the province since October.

Sri Lanka has reported 10,663 cases so far with 20 deaths.

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CANBERRA, Australia — Australia has recorded no new locally transmitted coronavirus infection for the first time in five months.

In Melbourne, the capital of Victoria state, which had the highest number of cases in the country, residents were enjoying the first weekend of cafes, restaurants and pubs reopening to walk-in customers.

The city only has one mystery case without a known source. There are 61 active cases left across the state, down from 70 on Saturday.

State Deputy Premier James Merlino hailed Sunday’s zero figures as “another great day for Victoria,” but urged caution ahead of Australia’s most-prestigious horse race on Tuesday, the Melbourne Cup, known as the “race that stops a nation.” Australians traditionally gather in bars or in private homes to watch the event, a public holiday.

The race attracts crowds of more than 100,000 at Melbourne’s Flemington race course, but this year it will held without fans because of restrictions on public gatherings.

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NEW DELHI — India reported 46,964 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, keeping a month-long downward trend in infections.

India’s health ministry on Sunday also registered 470 more deaths, taking total fatalities up to 122,111. The latest surge takes the country’s total virus tally to close to 8.2 million and is only behind the U.S.

India saw a steep rise in cases in July but it is seeing a slower pace of coronavirus spread since mid-September, when daily infections touched a record of 97,894. But health experts warn that mask and distancing fatigue is setting in and can lead to a fresh wave of infections.

Some experts question the country's testing methods and warn that a major festival due in a few weeks and the winter season could result in a new burst of infections.

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ISTANBUL — A Turkish politician from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party has died from coronavirus.

Burhan Kuzu, 65, had been receiving treatment for COVID-19 since Oct. 17, the country’s health minister tweeted. He passed away Sunday. A constitutional lawyer and a founding member of the governing Justice and Development Party, Kuzu served in parliament four times.

Two senior officials close to Turkey’s leader — presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu — tweeted Saturday that they had contracted COVID-19. Both said they were doing well. Soylu was in a hospital.

Turkey has seen over 10,000 deaths in the pandemic but some experts have questioned whether the government is downplaying the true extent of the country's outbreak with the way it counts cases.

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JERUSALEM - Dozens of members of Israel’s Druze Arab minority stormed a hospital in northern Israel and seized the body of a sheikh who died from the coronavirus. Later Saturday, his followers held a large funeral for him against safety guidelines.

The crowd stormed the hospital late Friday in the northern town of Safed. TV stations showed videos of dozens of followers entering the building. The funeral took place in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights town of Majdal Shams, which has been placed under a lockdown due to the high rate of coronavirus infections. Thousands of Druze people participated in the funeral procession, despite a ban on large gatherings.

Later Saturday, Sheikh Muwafaq Tarif, the spiritual leader of the Druze sect, said the family of the deceased and the Druze leadership were not consulted before the body was taken from the hospital. He appealed for Druze to abide by health restrictions, Israel’s public radio Arabic service reported.

The reports say that Israeli police are investigating the incidents.

Israel has begun easing its second nationwide lockdown this month after succeeding in lowering the infection rate, which in September had risen to be one of the highest in the world.

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CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada topped 100,000 total coronavirus cases on Saturday.

State officials reported 977 more cases, increasing the total to 100,763.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases went from 584 on Oct. 16 to 874 on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University data analyzed by The Associated Press.

The positivity rate rose from 8% to 10%. However, average number of daily deaths dropped from 7.1 to 5.6.

Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak says, “Now is not the time to get complacent or to give into COVID fatigue.”

Sisolak urged residents to wear masks, practice social distancing, frequently wash hands and avoid large crowds. He told people to take the virus seriously to protect others and the economy.

Nevada reported no deaths on Saturday, keeping the confirmed total at 1,777.

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JUNEAU, Alaska — Lawmakers, employees and reporters must be screened for the coronavirus when entering the Alaska Capitol.

The Alaska Legislative Council approved the measure, which requires masks in the building and other legislative offices. The council voted to keep the Capitol building closed to the public until at least January, when the next Legislature convenes.

Alaska reported 384 coronavirus cases and four deaths on Friday.

There’s been more than 15,000 cases and 81 confirmed deaths, according to the state Department of Health and Social Services.

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ROME — Italy added a record 31,758 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours and doubled the deaths to nearly 300 on Saturday.

The Health Ministry says approximately one of every seven people receiving swab tests has tested positive in recent days.

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte is considering more stringent virus measures. Demonstrators took to the streets of Rome on Saturday to protest recent measures.

Italy has nearly 680,000 confirmed cases and 38,618 deaths, the second-highest deaths in Europe.

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